A Motmot Morning

Hotel Bougainvillea where we are staying is famous for the blue-crowned motmots that reside here. Normally rather secretive birds of the forest, the motmots here will come in for food. They put out papayas, bananas and other fruit on tray feeders just outside the restaurant windows to lure in these blue jay-sized birds with long […]

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A Garden of Exotics

This morning we returned on the ferry and drove back to the Central Valley. By noon we had arrived at Jardín Botáníco Else Kientzler in the town of Sarchi. After eating a catered lunch out on the verandah of the reception building, our guide Mauricio told us the history of the gardens. It was created […]

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Pelicans in Plumeria

Today was a free day, so everyone was on their own to relax or take the optional excursions. A few of us met in the morning to take the short hike to the waterfall. We first encountered a blooming pochote tree or spiny cedar (Bombacopsis quinatum) with its bat-pollinated white shaving brush flowers and pale […]

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Dropping Out of the Clouds

We had a little taste of what it’s like most of the time in a cloud forest this morning, with heavy mist/light rain drifting over from the cloud-shrouded mountain. Usually the mountain top is enveloped in clouds, so we felt fortunate to have had a clear but windy day to explore the Preserve, instead of […]

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Walking With Willow

This morning we visited Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve with Willow Zuchowski, author of A Guide to Tropical Plants of Costa Rica. It was awesome having a world-renowned expert leading us through the forest, stopping every couple of feet to look at another plant. She enthusiastically told us about the specific things we saw, but […]

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From Hot Lowlands to Cool Cloud Forest

Today was a long travel day, starting out with a short boat ride to the tiny airstrip in Tortuguero for an early flight back to San Jose. We flew over the canals and rainforest of Tortuguero, the areas that had been cut for pasture land or housing very noticeable. Soon we were passing over mostly […]

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Exploring Tortuguero National Park

This morning’s activity was an excursion to Tortuguero National Park. Over 77,000 acres was declared a National Park in 1970 after being protected as a turtle nesting sanctuary since 1963. The park has great biological diversity and ecosystems including tidal mangrove swamps, rainforest, beaches, and lagoons, with more than 400 species of trees and about […]

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Floating to Tortuguero

On our first day of the 2016 MG tour of Costa Rica, we left the big city of San Jose up in the mountains of the central valley, drove across the Continental Divide, and down the Atlantic slope to the Caribbean lowlands. We went from the lush rainforest of Braulio Carrillo National Park at the […]

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La Selva Biological Station

Before the 2016 MG Tour of Costa Rica started, my husband and I spent a few days at La Selva Biological Station, located in the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica. This world-famous tropical private reserve and research station is owned and operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), a consortium of universities and […]

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SACRO & Our Farewell Dinner

Our final evening in Costa Rica was spent at the beautiful home of Ms. Ileana Terán, coffee plantation owner and founder of the SACRO Foundation, Save Our Costa Rican Orchids. Set on a hillside overlooking the city, the landscaping incorporates tropical flowering and foliage plants from around the world, and historic artifacts from Colonial times, […]

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